Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday = Yellow

Today is my baby brother's birthday. He's also my only brother and he isn't really a baby anymore, next year he'll be thirty. I remember the day he was born. I had just turned four, and my Gram came from Idaho to Kansas to stay with me while my parents went to the hospital. I had known since they told me that we were having a baby that it would be a boy (though no one knows how) and I was so excited to have a baby brother!

When they left for the hospital, Gram made me a fort out of the two arm chairs in the living room with a blanket over them and I remember the warm light from the kitchen filtering through into my soft tent. I remember that ticklish feeling of excitement in my chest, trying to fall asleep, the thought that when I woke up in the morning my brother would be born was running the grass in my head flat.

They brought him home and the first time I held my "Buddy" was sitting in the blue & purple tapestry rocking chair. It was love at first sight. Happy birthday, bro.

Curiousbird says Tuesday is Yellow Day. I'm not really a yellow person. It was harder for me to find things today, and I only made it barely under the wire--it's four minutes 'til midnight.
Two new cookbooks for my collection from the Boise Public Library book sale.
A painting my husband around the time we were married that hangs in the hall. Another pot I painted. This one has an almost dead undetermined citrus plant in it and sits under the painting on the dresser in the hall.
Yellow bibs from Rosina.
New summer eyelet for Princess.
Yellow Play-doh. We go through this stuff like you wouldn't believe and are making someone rich. I recently bought Kool-aid to color my very own home made stuff, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday = Green

I decided to take part in curious bird's challenge, A Week of Color. Today I wandered around my house looking for green. I found a lot of it since my husband and I both really like the color green in almost every variation. It was so fun! I woke up with it on my mind and automatically dressed us all in green :) Okay, so maybe I went a little overboard on this, but I figured this will reveal more bits of stuff about me, some of which you might actually find interesting. Don't worry, I have much less yellow stuff in my house.

First we have back yard photos. Ignore the monster grass. We have yet to find a reliable, reasonable, mowing service and we hate mowing. Still, we like grass and are not ready to move to lava rock and pea gravel. But I digress. This is a fabulous Safari park bench my mom got Princess a couple years back. We finally set it up this fall in time for it to get suitably weathered.
I think this might be potato sprouts!!!!!!!! I can not tell you how excited I am at this possibility. Please take a look at this photo and tell me that mine look enough like them to actually be potatoes. I planted mine (red, purple & yellow) on St. Patrick's day, as suggested and have been waiting and wondering and moaning in hopes of seeing some 'tater action.

These are my strawberry plants. The leaves are unfurling and there are even little flower buds! Beautimous!
Princess insisted I take this one. My mom sends the kids rubber ducks for every holiday so we have tons of them in cute little costumes in a rainbow of colors. This one I think I bought for the baby before he was born. We're a little bit rubber ducky obsessed in this house.

This is my bathroom. The walls are a dusky, pale aqua that I fall in love with again every time I see it. The bamboo actually came in a bouquet of flowers a few years back and it rooted in the vase and I didn't have the heart to throw it out. The fish, which also has a touch of green-ness to it was found 15 years ago at the beach in Chetzamoka Park.
This piece of pottery was the first original art my husband and I bought after we were married. It is by Ann Selberg and we loved both the color and the shape. We felt very grown up and sophisticated as we carried it home from the arts festival. It currently houses my collection of brightly colored pebbles.
I have a thing for dishes and I love to entertain with them. My extended family supports and encourages this by giving me more (than I could possibly ever use). Here a few of my favorite green pieces, and one of our green backed dining room chairs.

This is the Baby Bear. I tried to get a photo of the adorable overalls he is wearing today--they have green peas embroidered on the chest--but he just wanted the camera and thought we were playing a game. So I started to feed him lunch and choose this green batik turtle bib. He was mad about not being given the camera.

I love these shoes. I got them for Princess at an incredibly cheap close out discount from babystyle, which I discovered before Princess was born and I love dearly for kids clothing. When they put their basics on sale, I stock up, and occasionally something less-basic goes on a great sale too!
This is a new-for-summer eBay find for Princess. A frilly, girly, lime green dress of deliciousness. I love having kids to dress! Gives the cat a break.

My mother gave this deck prism to me about a dozen years ago for a special personal occasion. An explanation of what it is is here. She told me that she appreciated how, since the time I was born, it seemed to her that I reflected and magnified the light of the Universe, bringing light everywhere I went. There I times when I seriously doubt her assessment, but this is a tangible reminder of her love for me and her faith in me. I keep it on the bookshelf in bedroom in front of my poetry and writing books.
I decided several years ago to grow citrus in my home. Please, don't bother to tell me I am crazy or that it can't be done. I'm still hoping. This is the most successful plant I have. It is a lime tree and two years in a row I got blossoms on it! I am hoping this year we might make it happen too. The blue pot is one I painted myself.
Dressing boys is fun too! Baby bear has lots of green clothing, and here's a sampling of his green warm weather togs.

This is the office. The figurine was given to me by my Gram for my 11th birthday. I recently found it in a box of stuff and pulled it out to look at and keep her on my mind these days. Yes, I buy scotch tape by the dozen-box-pack. What can I say. I have a 4-year-old. The post-its on the bottom were given to me last month by my mom for my birthday. She got them at a Coldwater Creek retail store, but the only place I could find them online was here. You can also see a piece of the wall there--it's a soft apple-y green.
This is Princess's new raincoat, hanging in the hall. It is a Vintage Mousefeathers coat with old fashioned produce and flowers on it. I love it!
This is a framed photo of ballet dancers that my brother gave me for Christmas this last year and it sits on the back of the toilet in the guest/kid's bathroom. Most people have stopped giving me ballerina stuff, but my brother always manages to find something classy and sentimental.
When Princess was a baby, her nursery was decorated with Cecily Mary Barker's flower fairies. This was a bird feeder that my brother gave me for the nursery that originally had chains on it. I took them off and used it for all the little stuff that accumulates. It's the Sweet Pea Fairy's toes you see there in the background.
My dad gave Princess a set of these little German wood hen houses 2 Christmases ago and she loves them. The hens bobble up and down when you move their cage.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

We cannot endure to the end alone. It is important
that we help by lifting and strengthening one another.
- Elder Robert D. Hales

Today was one of those long days that start out one place and end up all over the road, taking you places you didn't really intend to go, and missing planned stops completely. Not a bad day, just a wiggly one.

I just went in to give the Bear another round of starters (wagon wheels, mum mums, & puffs) and heard the neighbors. This happens often as we live in one of those Mayberry-ish subdivisions where you're just a few feet from other people any way you breathe. The cool thing about this for us is that our neighbors are marvelous. In fact, they are one of the reasons we keep deciding not to move (even though our house is a little cramped these days). They are delightful people and have become good friends. And they ignore what they hear coming out our windows, which makes them pretty invaluable.

What I heard, was a dad-sound which meant "quick, she's getting away". I glanced out the window to see the buck naked 2 year old sprinting out the back door and then the mom take two strides and catch her like a child rustling pro, hoisting her back into the house. I love watching other people parent effectively and without mean-ness.

It's hard to find good neighbors and even harder to find ones that want to actually be friends and not just neighbors. Toni and I have borrowed enough eggs from one another over the years to make an omelet the size of Texas and our backyards are mutually inclusive when the weather gets warm. They were the ones we woke up to take Princess when I was in labor with the Baby Bear and they were the first non-family to see him since they brought her over in the morning to see her brother for the first time. We've seen each other through horrific pregnancies, miserable holidays and lots of joyful events and I'm grateful to know we have people we love and trust so close by. Toni and I are busy women and frankly, we don't get as much time to talk as we'd like to... but I'm so glad she's next door!

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Today's problems cannot be solved if we still think the way we thought when we created them."
~Albert Einstein

Monday again and I find myself trying to swim to the surface yet again. Lately, I've been overwhelmed. Not by any one thing, just in general. Being a parent is a huge responsibility and so is caring for my home and family physically. With my shoulder injuries I'm in some level of pain pretty much all the time. I may have said this before, but my obituary will not be one of those that talks about how the deceased suffered chronic pain honorably without a murmur of complaint. Oh, I try not to bore people repeatedly with the details, but the reality is that it hurts and sometimes it really gets me down. I hate it when my house gets out of control and I fall behind in things that I want to get done because I just can't do as much as I'd like.

Yesterday was difficult. When we went to pick up the pizza the other night, I didn't notice Princess playing with the dome light in the car. My husband had early meetings at the church and got a ride when he realized the car was dead, but didn't call me until 30 minutes before we were supposed to be there to tell me. I was already frustrated and late (I am considering not sleeping Saturday nights in order to attempt to actually arrive on time with the kids) and so he tried to call around and find someone to come jump the car, but all of the good, on time people had already left and he's shy about asking for help anyway.

I got upset. I told him that if he wanted to be there on time, he should go sit down and not worry about us (I was very huffy about it, too). I seriously considered that maybe it was a sign from God and I should be allowed to stay home. The problem is that we live six blocks with nice sidewalks from the church. I take longer walks on a regular basis. Plus, Princess was supposed to do a thing in her class and I had the interest sheets for the HFPE groups I am trying to get off the ground...so I got us fed and dressed and loaded up the stroller with the 25 pound kid and the diaper bag and my church bag and put me and Princess' nice shoes in a bag and we got our walking shoes on us, and we hoofed it. Missed the first meeting, but we were late anyway, it really only took about 12 minutes to get there, walking slow. I'm considering doing it more often when the weather gets warmer.

I can't even go into the after-church drama, but we had a birthday party to go to and the Home Teachers coming over and a car that wouldn't start and a house so messy you couldn't get from the door to the couch. My husband is the most patient man in the world, and I am truly grateful for his kindness when I have a total freak-out. We were close yesterday.

All of this rambling does have something to do with the quote at the top. In moments of clarity, I remember that the busy-ness of my life is a choice. I love my life. From being with my kids all day, to church stuff, to CU and Night Writers and eBay and television. My life is full, and it's full of really good things. Clarity reminds me that everything will be okay, that I will be okay and that I need to smile and remember how grateful I am. When I get overwhelmed, like I have been the past week, I wonder why I do what I do--pretty much in every aspect of my life--and when I settle down I realize that it's my thinking that gets me to that place. When things pile up, I can choose to look at it as an abundance of blessings or as evidence I am inadequate at keeping my life together. When I feel my problems can not be solved, it is because I am thinking along the second set of lines instead of the first.

Today, I am going to remember who I am and see myself and my abundance as blessings.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I found a really cool website that allows you to print your blog in a bound book and it starts pretty inexpensively! I'd really like to try it and see how simple it is and how it turns out. I can see blogging as journalling to some extent and it would be neat to have them printed and bound and ready for posterity :)

Today was a slow day. We've been expecting snow and it didn't show. My husband went down to Seattle with youth from church as a chaperone so the kids and I really just did our regular sort of day. I decided to make chili for dinner because it's freezing and my husband really likes it, and I soaked beans and boiled them hard for ten minutes (4 times longer than the instructions instructed) and put them in the crock pot on high for 5 hours (twice as long as the insructions instruced for the stove top) and I just went to check it and make cornbread and the beans are CRUNCHY!!!! This is the second time (different recipes) that this has happened to me. I am sad. Now we will have to have it tomorrow, which is fine, but it means I have to baby sit it; wait tonight for it to be done and then wait for it to cool enough to not melt my refrigerator and curdle the yogurt and then dish it into enough small somethings to fit the double batch I made into the fridge. I dealing with chili messes at midnight! And now I have to find something else for dinner!

This week has been a good eBay week. I've listed more than two dozen items and one item--a serendipitous find--has 3 days left, 16 watchers and is up to $28 from the $1.99 I started it at! I paid less than $10 for this including the dry cleaning (probably cost close to $200 new). I'm thrilled.

[ldsmoms] Friday Five, 1/13/2006

1. You have one whole day to be completely alone (no phone, no computer, no kids, no car), what would you do?
Probably write. Work in my garden. Read a book.

2. Do you usually eat breakfast? What will/did you have this morning?
I try to eat something in the mornings. Sometimes I don't get to it. Today I had a Rich Chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast.

3. When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?
I was watching Eli Stone the other night and I can't remember now what was so funny, but something was. I was laughing hard. I haven't decided whether I will catch up with it next season if it's renewed, but it was a pretty good mid-season replacement and had a lot of redeeming points. Depends on if they clean it up a little or not.

4. How are you sitting at the computer right now? Shoes on? Dressed?
Jeans, cranberry reddish t-shirt, bare feet.

5. When was the last time you ate something and thought or said, "ooh, this is sooo good."
Last night. Dessert. Nutella and graham crackers. Divine. Which is not surprising since I just found out that the same people who make it make these--one of my all time favorite candies!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The way to a woman's heart...

March was a fun food month and sadly, I can find no photos of our annual St. Patrick's Day feast. I do have photos of some of the other fun stuff we made and ate though, so I thought I'd finally post them since I've been photo-less in my posting lately.

The first few here are mini pizzas on multi-grain English muffins. First is one is black olive and artichoke heart, the second is pineapple, pepperoni & green onions and feta, mushrooms and green onions and the third . Yum!

Next we have the results of the Massive All-Day Flower Pot Cake
Marathon that Princess and I had. I have these cake pans that are little flower pots and we made yellow cakes, frosted them with chocolate frosting and put crushed up Oreos on them. Then we dyed bamboo skewers green with food coloring, baked sugar cookies, colored vanilla frosting three different colors and added matching sprinkles, stuck the cookies on the sticks and stuck a stick in each pot. Princess asked about leaves, but frankly, the new had worn off me by that time. It was really fun and it reminded me why I love being home with my kids.

Here are the result of asking Princess what she wanted for dinner. She said she wanted flowers. So on the right you have melted ham and cheese sandwiches with bits of olive, bell pepper and mushroom at the centers. On the left, we have pineapple ring flowers with yogurt & black grape centers and fresh broccoli leaves. We got a lot of mileage this month out of the cookie cutter set I bought at Bed Bath & Beyond on sale before I even had a Princess to share my kitchen with!

These last two photos are from our trip to Idaho. I love Sonic.
It is my favorite fast food restaurant ever. I love their onion rings, their strawberry limeades, their mini banana splits, their barbecue toaster burgers... and the list goes on. I love that you can order a grilled cheese sandwich, a vanilla malt and tater tots. I love that the people wear roller skates to bring you the food. It's been two years since I was there . . . two long years with no Sonic. When we returned from spending our whole summer there a couple years back, Princess had grown so accustomed to eating there that she asked for it every single time that the opportunity to eat out presented itself. I had to tell her it was too far away for months before she believed me. Now, for the good news. THEY ARE BUILDING ME A SONIC IN THE NEXT TOWN OVER! JUST TEN MINUTES BY FREEWAY! Okay, so they don't actually know I care, but it nearly brought a tear to my eye when I heard. And the Cinnasnacks on the sign? They come with a little thingy of vanilla cream cheese frosting and they are fabulous.

Finally, I am going to try and do a little random daily creative and/or journal writing here. I'll either use a prompt from Night Writers or I'll go with a Friday Five or Question of the Day from ldsmoms. Anyone else who wants to use these can consider themselves tagged :)

[ldsmoms] Friday Five, 1/6/2006

1. How often does your family sit down together for meals?
Most nights. These days I have massage therapy appointments Monday & Wednesday nights, so that makes those evenings tight. I also have Night Writers every other Wednesday, but I try to have things ready early enough that we can eat together.

2. When was your last family vacation that was more than visiting relatives?
Hmmm. I don't think we've ever been on one. A few day trips, but never overnight. Been married 12 years though so maybe it's time!

3. Does your family sit together at church? Where do you usually sit?
Yes, we do. Although there are moments when I'd prefer to be sitting somewhere that didn't involve being slobbered on and whined at. We sit in close proximity to an exit so as not to disturb others when I remove my hollering children, preferably one on the side of the chapel with the Mother's Lounge on it so I don't have to walk all the way around the entire building to get to it.

4. Does your family like to play board games?
Princess would play them all day every day if we acquiesced to her requests. My husband and I like them fine, but they're not high on our list of wants these days.

5. If money were no object, where would you like to spend a week with your entire family? Someplace warm and fabulous. Maybe the Atlantis resort.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Well, I did it. A couple of weeks ago it crossed my mind to ask the owner of the dance studio that Princess goes to if she ever needed substitutes. I really am not looking to go back to teaching regularly, although I do miss it a lot, but I thought it might be a way to keep my fingers in and help pay for Princess' lessons. I put it off, partly because I am feeling a little chubbier since Baby Bear decided to stop nursing, but today, I did it.

For those of you that don't know, I took 20 years of dance classes and taught for a half dozen or so after that. I know it seems impossible looking at me now :) I love to dance and a lot of times I really miss it. I'd really like to go back to it at some point, but the time and money involved don't make it reasonable at this point in my life.

The studio is actually owned by someone I met knew of many years ago at Summer Dance Lab, the workshop I went to for four summers as a teenager. A friend from SDL teaches there as well, and it is a kind place, with good teachers.

So today, I happened to see the studio owner after classes and she asked Princess to help her by trying on some costumes they were having issues with. It was easy to work it into the ensuing conversation and so I asked her. She was enthusiastic and positive about it, and asked if I had a resume! The funny thing about that is that as an exercise for CU a few months back, I had to update a resume, and I chose my dance resume! So it's actually current for the first time in ten years, already! I still need to talk to my husband about it, still need to think on it some, but I'd love to keep my hand in dance and teaching.

When I was about seventeen, I had a choice to make. If I was going to dance professionally, I needed to start the really serious training and auditioning at that point or it would be too late. I pondered and prayed and thought about what I wanted to do with my life--what deep down in my soul I wanted. I wanted a certain kind of life beyond the stage, a kind of life that is virtually impossible for a professional dancer, especially a ballerina. So I kept dancing, but I stopped training. And even though there were moments when I thought that putting aside that dream was literally going to kill me because it hurt so much, I knew in my gut that it was right.

I have that life that I wanted. What I want has changed a little over the years, but I'm content--more than most I think. Nothing is perfect, but I am so blessed and so grateful for my husband and my children and all the things that I "do" like writing and reading and church stuff and my millions of little hobbies.

I don't want Princess to dance for me. I don't want to live my life through her--I'm still living my life and I don't need anyone to do it for me. I want her to dance as long as it brings her joy. That's ultimately why I'd like to teach dance again. Sharing my adoration, teaching others to feel comfortable in their bodies and love this art form too is an aspect of ballet that brings me a lot of joy. So we'll see. Maybe this is an opportunity whose time has come.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's so good to have good television back on. As much as I respected the writers' need to strike, I hated it. I was tired of the re-runs, tired of the really stupid stuff they pulled out of the reject pile and showed because they had nothing else to show. Then there were the new reality & game shows. Public idiocy has reached a new level of insanity in the past few months. Ai-yi-yi!

I like television. I know that's really not PC, but it's true. My husband has tried over the years to convince me that I don't really want to have a TV, and he's never found an argument he could win with. I avoid most comedy, since there's barely one of those shows that is not filled with gratuitous inappropriateness, but I love a drama. While I stay away from the truly gritty stuff, I do tend towards crime fighting and medical and supernatural sorts of shows, where we get to see the bad guys caught. My husband doesn't share most of my taste in television. He flat out dislikes a far amount of what I watch--he doesn't disapprove, he just doesn't enjoy or appreciate it. We've talked about why I watch this stuff, what draws me to it . . . and I think it comes down to two things.

First, I like to see the triumph of the human spirit. Really, really horrific things happen in this world. There are awful people who do awful things and amazing people who live through those things. There are also those who clean up; law enforcement, doctors & firefighters and, well, vampire slayers. It's not the evildoers that interest me, don't worry :) It is those who live through the evilness and go on to be happy and those who clean up the messes. I have great respect for people with those kinds of jobs partially because it takes a special kind of person, one I am not.

Second, it makes me feel better to see the resolution. Media often relays the news about the worst elements of society and we never hear anything after the initial story, we just hear the terrible stuff. Newspapers and newscasts are enough to really scare me these days. When a single episode or a story arc takes us from the Bad Thing Happening, to the Bad Guy Gets Got, or Person Gets Better, or Eventually Everything is Okay, I feel safer. I feel like even though this doesn't happen every time in real life, it probably happens sometimes and there is hope. It reminds me to have faith in law enforcement (despite corruption), in medical personnel (despite malpractice), and in the absolute truth that Good will triumph over Evil, always, eventually.

Anyway, I'm happy that May sweeps are almost here and I the writers are writing again! Now, on to something else. While in Idaho I had the chance to sample some of the best butter toffee that exists. I got it at Walgreen's, and I didn't have any idea what I was in for. Now, I think most of the rest of what this company makes tastes fairly nasty (I got the gift pack sampler, so that is how I know), but this stuff? This stuff is to die for. Crunchy, not to hard or too soft, not too sweet, buttery, buttery, buttery. Seriously, this is about my new 2nd place favorite candy, right after Dan's Chocolates (which are worth every penny of their considerable expense). As Oobi would say, "tasty-good". No Oobi bashing in the comments, okay? He's one of my favorite baby shows :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just fed Baby Bear lunch, or tried to, and got some classic "asleep in food" photos! He didn't wake up when I reclined the highchair, or when I washed his face, or when I scrubbed the Zwieback toast off his hands. Poor tired baby! He is trying so hard to get his teeth and it's wearing him out.

Getting ready for the Night Writer's HFPE group meeting tomorrow and I almost have things together. Each meeting we have a quote for inspiration/discussion, a writing exercise to do at the meeting and share, and a writing exercise on a 4x6 card that I send home with them. I started this group just before I found out I was pregnant with Baby Bear. I promptly became so sick I could not get out of bed, much less lead the group. Melynn came the rescue and took over, and under her watchful and experienced eye (she's a professional literary editor) it grew and flourished. We never discussed me "taking back" the group--in my mind it belonged to her as soon as she stepped in. We have a very talented group, with almost a dozen women now and half that many genres.

A couple months ago she told the group she wanted to change the format and was open to suggestions. I called to talk to her about it (I always have an opinion) and in the course of our conversation, she asked if I was interested in taking back over. She needed to step back, she said and so I told her I would do it. Part of me is so excited to be doing this again! I have loved participating and enjoy teaching in general and am thrilled to get to share my support and love of writing with these women that I have so much respect for. On the other hand, it's scary. I want to do right by them and provide a useful, positive outlet for them and I hope I am able to do it.

This will be my third meeting since taking over again. I think it is going well for the most part, except that last week I was 15 minutes late and we ran late, and I couldn't find the book I wanted and so was flustered when I needed to share the exercise because I didn't have the passage which explained it. I hope that they'll be patient with me and not start throwing rotten produce quite yet.

In addition to running this group, I am the group coordinator for my ward. I am still new to this, but the same sort of excitement and nerves come into play. I want to do right by the women in my ward. I want each one of them to have at least one need met through this program, which I do believe is Divinely inspired. I am still getting my feet under me, working out plans for group activities, trying to find people to lead the activities, praying a lot for inspiration. The program is pretty loosely defined in a lot of ways, so it has been a challenge to come up with parameters and purposes, but I think over all it is going well. Currently I am trying to create outlines for all the activities I want to start in 2008, considering a budget (which is currently non-existent--literally), and creating some serious advertising strategies and materials. Speaking of which, I should probably be doing that instead of this :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Take a Deep Breathe

Today was that day that happens after you get home from a vacation, that makes you wonder briefly why you went on vacation. That day when the mounds of dirty vacation laundry needs to be done. That day when you need to start sorting through the junk mail, answering the emails, returning the voice mails. That day when it's time to restock the fridge and time to clean up the mess you left in the sink when you took off. That day when the kids have decided that they aren't as glad to be home as they were that first night when they rejoiced in seeing the cat and having their own pillows back. That day when you began to wish you didn't know how fabulous it felt to have doting relatives to tend to your children's every whim so that you can think in straight line for more than ten second--because it makes the days a little longer than they were before you knew.

I made some small progress today, but it sure was a long day. Baby Bear became drastically more mobile during the trip, so I stayed up late last night re-vamping the living room (otherwise known as the Containment Facility) to accommodate his training-for-a-triathlon routine. I then folded three loads of laundry and went to bed feeling efficient and effective, only to wake up and spend most of the day dithering.

Tonight we spent FHE talking about Doing Your Best. I find myself often struggling between these two extremes:

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
--General George S. Patton (1885-1945)
Try your hardest and that is good enough, even if you don't accomplish what you set out to do.

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
--Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back')
Trying is for wimps.

I don't have the answer for how to balance it all, but this keeps me going:

"I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass."
--Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008)
Everything's gonna be alright, regardless of how many things are left on your list at the end of the day.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggety jog

An optimist is the human personification of spring.
-Susan J. Bissonette
Well, I have now been officially 32 for a whole week. I'm not sure it feels much different than 31, but I like even numbers, so I'm hopeful that the year will be an auspicious one.

About three weeks ago, my husband started in on the "what do you want for your birthday" line of questioning. I, of course, have a long list of fun stuff I'd like, but I wasn't really craving anything for this birthday, so I hemmed and hawed. He continued to pester me for a week oer so and then finally said, "Hey! I know what to give you for your birthday!" at which time I of said, "What?" and then he said, "Let's go visit your mom and grandma!" So we packed the car last Saturday and drove through a few states and arrived at my Gram's house.

From the time I was eight, until I hit twelve and began to spend my summers at dance workshops (and occasionally after that), I went all by myself to stay with my Gram and Grandpa for a few weeks. My Gram has always been a special and important person to me and I really wanted her to meet Baby Bear and get some 4-generation photos of us with her.

The trip was an adventure from the start, since my little corner of the Northwest decided to have a terribly uncharacteristic late March blizzard! The roads were crazy because of the weather and so it took us almost 3 hours longer to get to half way than it usually does (including the stop to help stranded motorists on the freezing, slushy mountain pass), so we ended up at a Best Western in the the middle of nowhere at about 1 in the morning needing to rest.

These people had the BEST Continental Breakfast I have ever eaten at the sort of non-sleazy-but-still-cheap motel I generally stay at while travelling! Seriously, I should have taken pictures of those Belgian waffles. Yes, that's right, I said Belgian waffles. What is cooler than Belgian waffles at a Best Western? Belgian waffles at a Best Western you can make yourself! They had this nifty batter dispenser and a restaurant-style waffle maker that I now covet (in a healthy way of course). The batter tank dispenses into your paper cup the perfect amount of batter, and then you pour it onto the waffle maker, do this fancy twisty-turny thing to the handle (and yes, I stood there and stared at it for an extra 2 minutes before I figured out the twisty-turny thing the first time) and when the thing beeps, you open it and voila! Perfect golden Belgian waffles! I was enthralled as you can probably tell.

The rest of the trip was great. We went to the zoo, shopped, visited with family, ate at my favorite fast food restaurant which they do not yet have within many hours of my home, worked on a some genealogy projects and got some awesome 4-generation photos with me and the kids and mom and grandma. Princess got spoiled, Baby Bear grew hair, I got two birthday cakes, and my husband got to see huge amur tigers close enough to touch (if it wasn't for the tiger-proof Plexiglas between him & them). All in all, it was all good.